Every worker deserves a living wage.
Did you know that a full-time worker earning minimum wage in Illinois makes just over $16,000 a year? Could you and your family pay for rent, utilities, groceries, transportation, and medical care on that? Unlikely. But that’s precisely what too many workers are forced to do. The majority of minimum wage earners aren’t teenagers, but women and men supporting families. Eighty percent of minimum wage workers are adults, and 59 percent are women. It’s time to give 600,000 Illinois women a raise! If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation, it would be $10.39 an hour instead of $8.25 in Illinois.
As part of Raise Illinois, a statewide coalition of advocates, Women Employed is leading the charge to pass SB 68, and raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $10.65 over the next four years. Here are a few reasons why:
- SB 68 would give minimum wage workers an additional $4,800 a year—enough to raise a family of three out of poverty;
- Restaurant servers, salon employees and other tipped service providers earn even less: $4.95 per hour. Tips are unpredictable, so raising the minimum wage would help these low-wage workers to support their families;
- A higher minimum wage spurs economic activity and would generate new jobs;
- 71 percent of Illinois voters support raising the minimum wage incrementally.